Thursday, December 06, 2012

Out of Place?

The Arrangement & Description Unit at the Russell Library have been processing the papers of Congressman Ed Jenkins for the past few months. Jenkins was a Democrat who served in the House of Representatives from 1977 to 1992 representing the Ninth District (Northwest Georgia). So far we have processed over half of the collection (we started out with over 300 boxes!) and have published the finding aid online.

Although the majority of the records in this collection represent the Congressman’s work on the House Ways and Means Committee and Budget Committee, we have occasionally come across folders that seem to pop up out of the blue and seemingly out of place among the rest.

Among the legislation on agriculture, water resources, and immigration laws is a folder entitled “Larry Flynt/Hustler Letters”. The contents of the folder are not as lurid as the popular adult magazine and its notorious creator.  In 1983, the editor and publisher of Hustler wrote to members of Congress offering them complimentary subscriptions to his publication (a practice which he continues today). The folder includes Jenkins’ letter politely declining the offer as well as an article written by Flynt about Larry McDonald, the Georgian Congressman who was aboard the Korean Airlines Flight 007 when the plane was shot down by Soviet interceptors.

What I find most interesting about the letters in this folder is Flynt’s tenacity for exercising free speech.

The Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies is open for research Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm, with the exception of University holidays. For more information, please visit or call (706) 542-5788.

Post by Tammi Kim, Processing Assistant for Arrangement & Description Unit, Russell Library

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